Artemy Lebedev

§ 162. Designer’s block

February 16, 2010

Let’s run a simple experiment. Try saying out loud without pausing all the words you know (or ask a friend to do that). The first ten words would be no problem. Then you’d start looking around and naming things in the room—perhaps ten more. Then you’d be able to recall a handful of peculiar words from the back of your vocabulary. And then you would run out of words and stop.

If you were to describe in your own words any known phenomenon, you’d have no lack of words. One person would give a good description, another might do worse—that would determine each performer’s skill level. But none could get stuck for words in the middle of a simple narrative.

Designer’s block may only occur if a designer deliberately aims to create something original and extraordinary.

There is no way to think up an original and extraordinary design—it can only come as a result of pursuing a given task. In the same way running down a list of words is different from making a narrative.

Designer’s block is the dead end of a pointless journey.

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